Western Mass. Shop Positions Spalding Basketballs on TV

By Sarah Jones

BOSTON–Spalding Sports Worldwide is leveraging its 15-year relationship with the National Basketball Association in two new TV spots created by Winstanley Associates in Lenox, Mass.

Spalding hopes to boost awareness of its brand and its NBA partnership through the 30-second ads. By this time next year, the company will have spent close to $2 million on advertising for the basketball group, according to Joe Baltronis, director of marketing for the sporting goods division.

The Lenox, Mass., shop is also creating a print campaign and two more TV ads to air this summer. One ad will tout a basketball made for the Women’s National Basketball Association.

A spot starring Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon dribbling a ball past a baby carriage broke last week. As Olajuwon passes the carriage, he tosses the baby the ball, who then casts the rattle aside and begins performing computer-enhanced theatrics. It closes with the tagline, ‘Spalding. The official ball of the NBA. What are YOU playing?’ That and a second spot featuring a montage of NBA highlight clips are slated to run nationally on sports programming through the rest of the season.

‘We found that tons of people had basketballs, but nobody could even tell us what brand they bought,’ said Winstanley creative director Ralph Frisina ‘And these are people who play pretty frequently,’ he said. ‘We needed to make an identity for (Spalding) and keep it up.’

Spalding plans to hike ad spending in other areas such as golf, said The Sherry Group’s Geoff Phelps.

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